Pediatric Dentistry

Photo of two children smiling


Regular cleanings help keep gums healthy and teeth cavity-free. A dental cleaning includes removal of tartar and plaque and polishing of the teeth to remove stains and prevent further buildup of plaque.

Fluoride is a natural substance that helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay. Fluoride treatments are administered at this office as an important component of pediatric dental treatment. The fluoride is typically applied in a varnish form.

During a regular check-up, oral hygiene instructions are given to both patient and parent.  Good home care can reduce the risk of plaque and tartar build-up which can lead to cavities. Instructions include proper techniques for brushing, flossing, using mouth rinses and diet.

Sealants reduce your child’s risk of developing tooth decay. The sealant material fills in the crevices of a tooth and “seals” off the tooth from cavity-causing agents like food and plaque. The teeth are prepared for the sealant application and the sealant is painted directly onto the chewing surface of each tooth and then hardens. Sealants are applied in one visit.


Tooth-colored fillings are the most lifelike material used to fill cavities. Composite fillings can be done in one visit. Once the decay is removed, the tooth is filled with this composite material that hardens immediately after placement.
A pulpotomy involves treating the diseased nerve of a baby tooth. If your child has been experiencing pain or if the tooth decay is in close proximity of the pulp of the tooth, the nerve may require a pulpotomy. The pulpotomy  involves removing the pulp, in the chamber of the tooth and packing the chamber with material that will help restore the tooth until it is time for it to exfoliate (or fall out on its own naturally).
A stainless steel crown is a dental restoration that completely covers the outside of a severely decayed baby molar. Stainless steel crowns are completed in one visit. A white “strip” crown is an option for very decayed incisors.
A tooth that can not be saved with restorative materials may need to be removed. Before removing the tooth, the area will be numbed with local anesthesia. The tooth is then loosened using a special dental instrument known as an elevator. After the tooth is loosened from the socket, it is removed. Depending on your child’s age and location of the tooth extracted, it is sometimes necessary to place a space maintainer so your child’s bite doesn’t shift.


An oral evaluation is recommended to identify and prevent cavities and other dental problems. During an oral evaluation, a thorough examination is done to check the hard and soft tissues of the mouth.
Dental X-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool used to identify decay, extra teeth, bone defects, tumors, cysts and check the progress of previous procedures. Latest technology now allow for digital X-rays, which reduce radiation exposure more than 50 percent, and produce instant, high-quality images that can be viewed immediately by the dentist and the patient.

Interceptive Orthodontics

A habit appliance is useful to help stop a thumb or finger habit and/or to help re-train an improper tongue position or swallowing pattern. It is sometimes necessary to place an appliance to minimize the harm and distortion the habits or tongue posture can have on teeth. Most habit appliances are banded for adhesion to the back molars and are not removable.
Space maintainers are used to keep teeth from drifting into an empty tooth space due to early loss of primary (baby) teeth. Baby teeth act as a guide for the eruption of the permanent teeth. A space maintainer is made of stainless steel and/or plastic. It can be removable or fixed to the teeth.


Cosmetic bonding is the process of filling or restoring teeth with a tooth-colored material in order to maintain a natural appearance.
Whitening, also known as bleaching, is the procedure used to brighten teeth. In-office whitening usually requires only one office visit. A protective gel or a rubber shield is placed over the gums to protect the soft tissue. A bleaching agent containing carbamide peroxide is applied to the teeth, and a laser light is then used to enhance the action of the whitening agent.

Sedation Dentistry

Nitrous oxide, sometimes referred to as “laughing gas,” is an effective and safe sedation agent that is inhaled through a mask that fits over your child’s nose. Mixed with oxygen, nitrous oxide allows the patient to breathe normally through their nose, and within minutes they should start to feel the effects. They may feel light-headed or notice a tingling in their arms and legs. Some patients comment that their legs and arms feel heavy. Ultimately, they should feel comfortable and calm. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly after the mask is removed.

Local anesthesia refers to a topical and/or injected anesthetic that will affect only the targeted area for a brief period of time to minimize or eliminate sensation or pain in that specific “localized” area during a dental procedure.

In conjunction with an anesthesiologist, we also offer general anesthesia at the Maine General Medical Center in Augusta, if necessary.